Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Coach Ken Stopkotte has had all charges filed against him DROPPED!

Ken Stoppkotte, per his Facebook page, has had all charges filed against him dropped for lack of evidence.

On November 26, 2010 - I reported that Ken Stoppkotte had been arrested. Here is what I wrote:

"... It was Coach Ken Stopkotte that contacted me months ago about the USA Swimming sex abuse issues once I made a blog post regarding a really scary San Jose coach. He was later seen on ABC News 20/20 laying it out out on the table and making lots of enemies in the swimming community.

This was sent to me as a fast note from an anonymous source regarding the recent charges filed against him. They included the police report in the arrest along with a cryptic comment:
"... Attached is the police report. [Note:] There is no mention whatsoever that Ken used any of the funds for personal gain, no mention that he embezzled money, no mention that the monies in said "private account" which in reality was a FAST account found its way to Ken:  [Link

If Coach Stoppkotte has been cleared as mentioned in his declaration below, then all penalties and prejudices  levied against him by the swim community, his employer, or employers should be rescinded and apologized for.
From Ken Stoppkotte's Facebook page: 
Friends, as many of you know the last two years of my life has been a living hell. In November of 2010, I was falsely accused by the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation in Fishers, Indiana of eight felony counts of theft and arrested (without bail) in Franklin, Tennessee. After spending the first 45 years of my life of trying to be an honest and hardworking citizen and never being accused of a crime worse than a few speeding and parking tickets, I spent seven days in the Williamson County (Tennessee) jail in isolated maximum lockdown (where I was only able to come out of the cell for one hour every two days). From there, I was extradited to Fishers, Indiana in a transport wagon and spent another two days in the Hamilton, County jail awaiting a bail hearing before I was finally released. I missed Thanksgiving Day with my family, my faith was greatly tested and my life changed forever. As the case dragged out, these charges have subsequently hung over my head like a black cloud for sixteen months and the financial and emotional damages to my family and I have been devastating. 
The case never went to trial and the prosecution came to the realization through the depositions and non-existent evidence that they needed to drop the case because of the school district's false and misleading information to the Fishers Police Department. Unfortunately, the collateral damages were significant and it took 15 months out of my life. 
While many of you reached out to me with encouraging emails, notes, texts & phone calls, I apologize if  I didn’t always respond or stay in touch. It was a very depressing, embarrassing and humiliating period of my life and it was extremely difficult and painful for me to interact with people. 
I would like to thank all my friends, former athletes, former co-workers and my family (specifically my sons, Jacob & Noah, Mom, Dad and my sisters, Jill & Chris) for all their support and never giving up on me during this horrible ordeal. 


pistolpete said...

Tony, I don’t know Ken very well but I’ve been to meets in Indiana and at the Fishers pool. He is a very polarizing figure and this is a very sad story on a lot of fronts. Ken was nice enough to me and actually gave me a lot of good ideas to use for my program. The politicians, veteran coaches and rival clubs in Indiana Swimming hate him with a passion, but his former team (parents and swimmers) and a lot of coaches all over the Midwest think the world of him. A friend told me today he had hundreds of messages on his Facebook site from former swimmers and parents from all over the country. It would be interesting to find out who the real Ken Stopkotte is. If you look at his record he has been a winner and built great programs everywhere he’s gone. What he was doing at Fishers was amazing, but on the other hand, he has the reputation of being outspoken, confrontational and controversial, thus making a lot of enemies. Is this guy a genius and great coach or cheater and a liar? Is he a mentor to other coaches or is he a pariah to the sport? Was he right to speak out against USA Swimming or did he have a personal agenda? Maybe he’s somewhere in between but it’s a very puzzling situation. I also hope that Indiana Swimming or USAS were behind these false charges.

Glenn said...

I've been friends with Ken for many years. The first family I lived with when I moved from Cleveland to Cincinnati had a daughter, and she ended up marrying Ken, so there's a long standing connection there. While I've never coached with or against Ken, I can only speak about him as a friend and family man. These charges shocked me, and I reached out to him early in the process. Ken is a very intense man, which many may only see the intense side while he's at a meet, but he's as intense with his love for his wife, family, and swimmers that he coaches. In my eyes, he's always been a good man, and hopefully this will let other people know the same. I'm very happy to Ken and his family, and I'm sure this vindication plays more to Ken in how his children and friends look at him, rather than USAS or the Indiana people who spoke out so harshly against him when these charges arose. Again, congrats to Ken, Becky and the boys. I'm sure it's a huge weight lifted, and now he can get back to work.

Tony Austin said...

I hope he can get back to work and that there is no "black list" out there.

Anonymous said...

I know Ken and coached against him in Indiana. IMO he was right about everything he complained and spoke out about. ISI is a poorly run LSC and has underperformed competitively considering the resources and state of the art facilities they have. USA Swimming is run by smug, arrogant and dishonest people that have no checks and balances and are out of touch with their membership. With that being said, Ken went about it the wrong way by picking unnecessary fights and then speaking out on 20/20 and ESPN. The night of the 20/20 episode I knew he was doomed. Not only did Indiana Swimming pile on and embellish some of the inserted times charges, but they also intimidated witnesses that were going testify in his behalf at the arbitration that was going to happen. If it were one of the good ole boy Indiana coaches, they would have gotten a reprimand and still be coaching today. Because Ken didn’t just burn the bridge (he blew it up), he is out of coaching. It’s a damn shame because he’s a great coach and leader. My advice to Ken would be to shut up and do what he outstanding at and that’s coach.

Tony Austin said...

And you know what...? Not only is your advice sound and well thought out but it proves that those who work in and around USA swimming have to measure their words, look the other way, compromise their morals or they can or will be punished and/or black listed.

I have written nearly 1000-posts on this blog and in my opinion I could not have said the things I said if my income was toed to this sport.

Consequently, I have been able to embarrass the likes of FINA; (see my leaked techsuit letter), USA Swimming; (See either the 20/20 or ESPN news show where Wielgus gets spanked), ASCA and it's CEO; (Leonard's poor corporate management and his threatened lawsuit against me), and finally the debate between Craig Lord and myself.

Your comment is appreciated and well stated. I have said a million times that my readers are inspiring, more intelligent that I am, and subsequently have dropped the necessary "bombs" to effect change in the sport and Ken Stokotte was one of those readers.

I think you confirm the political structure of USA Swimming at the LSCs is "medieval" in nature and it appears that if anyone wants a promotion in this sport that have to "pour poison" into their "feudal lord's drink."

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote, "My advice to Ken would be to shut up..."

This is what's wrong with the sport. Individual's constitutional rights are being violated. It's exhausting walking on eggshells and keeping your mouth shut. There comes a point where you just can't take it any longer, when enough is enough, when people need to be held accountable.

Ken was suspended for falsifying times. Because so many others falsify times, maybe the embezzlement charges were added to make him seem more guilty than others who falsify times and will never be held accountable.

Tony Austin said...

If I was a coach, I would keep my mouth shut and have a loudmouth like this blogger post your views and ideas since his income isn't tied to anything connect with swimming.

How about this suggestion: When countries rise and fall, they generally rise slowly but they collapse quickly. Rome fell within a few decades after the barbarians said hello and ultimately civilized them. The Ming Dynasty fell in just a single decade, and there is of course Libya, Iraq, Egypt and perhaps the USA if we get anymore divided.



USA Swimming could could get a regime change or a firm spanking for punishing loudmouth coaches if the LSC's started talking to one another. There is also a lot to talk about: Topics such as USA Swimming executive salaries, their lack of support for most of the kids on the deck of the pool, and other outstanding issues like ASCA non-bid contract with USA Swimming and what they actually do for coaches.

USA Swimming Management could easily be voted out in the span of one year. The LSC's have got to start talking to each other rather than being these "lone outposts" being told what to think, where to sign, and what to say.

Anonymous said...


The LSC's are a big part of the problem. USA Swimming committee members and many of USA-S board of directors are also on the boards and committees of the LSC's.

Every club and LSC have their own agendas. I attended a club board meeting and was shocked that the officers were proud of themselves for preventing a different club from holding a meet.

The LSC's are thrilled to have their members on the USA-S committees to further their agendas. Others have mentioned that these positions are appointed.

When individuals get in the way of these agendas, they're ostracized.

In my case, these people couldn't touch me, so they abused my innocent daughter.

One would think that having USA Swimmings Athletes Vice President on the team would create the ultimate environment, instead it creates extra layers of protection for the corrupt leaders.

Individually, we're suppose to shut up, do as we're told, go along with the agenda, look the other way - and we'll be fine.

Tony Austin said...

That s disgusting.

I would have so published the minutes to THAT meeting!

LSCs obviously need more sunshine and reportage if that was the case.

Anybody who is proud to have prevented a club from having a swim meet should have that pride display before the swimming community at large for extreme scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

"That s disgusting.
I would have so published the minutes to THAT meeting!"

...Meeting minutes NEVER represent actual discussions or goings on of a meeting.

These organizations cover up their garbage so easily.
It is disgusting.
And the leaders are LIARS.

Tony Austin said...

iPhone video, Flip video, there are options perhaps.

Anonymous said...

I have meeting minutes where a vote was taken on whether or not the team should continue falsifying times.

I also have an e-mail from the Chairman of the Board admitting times were falsified and a vote was taken.

Talk about needing sunshine. The meeting was shocking and disturbing. I left the dark corridors of the empty high school feeling like I was in another era.

Fifteen people attended the meeting. Two were swim officials, two others were both on the LSC Board of Review and held other LSC committee positions.

Tony Austin said...

This is serious on so many levels - What can I do for you?